VCA Berwyn Internal Medicine Department
We offer a wide range of internal medicine services at VCA Berwyn Animal Hospital by our board certified internal medicine specialist, Dr. Frank Norton, DVM, DACVIM. He has been practicing at our hospital since 1983 and is very proficient in all aspects of internal medicine and has particular interests in various complicated and serious medical conditions such as chronic renal failure, liver disease, diabetes and infectious disease. Appointments are available during the week as well as on Saturdays.
In addition to consulting, performing advanced medical diagnostic procedures and seeing appointments; Dr. Norton oversees the care and treatment of all the hospitalized patients. This ensures that your pet receives the best medical care possible.
We welcome you to learn more about Dr. Norton by reviewing his biography and have provided general information about the specialty of internal medicine and how we may be able to help you and your pet below:
What Is A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist?
A board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional training in understanding how your pet's internal body systems function and in diagnosing and treating the many serious diseases that can affect the health of those systems. An internal medicine specialist has advanced training in the following disciplines:
- Hematology (study of the blood)
- Infectious Diseases
- Respiratory Diseases
While your general practitioner veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems, certain diseases and conditions require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in internal medicine in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet.
*Within the discipline of veterinary internal medicine, there are also veterinarians who specialize further in Small Animal Medicine, Cardiology, Neurology, and Oncology.
Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist?
Just as your own primary care physician may feel the need to refer you to the care of a specialist from time to time, your general practitioner veterinarian may feel your pet needs a specialist to help diagnose or treat a particularly complicated medical problem. While your general practitioner veterinarian can handle many aspects of your pet's care, just as in human medicine, there is sometimes a need for the attention of a specialist. You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet for more specialized diagnostic work or treatment is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her problem.
While in some cases, your veterinarian may be able to simply consult with a specialist about your pet's care, in other cases it is necessary to actually refer you and your pet to the specialist for more advanced diagnostics and treatment. Board certified veterinary internists may also have access to specialized diagnostic or treatment tools that a general practitioner veterinarian may not have.
What Health Problems Does A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist Treat?
Board certified internal medicine specialists are trained to treat the most serious diseases and health problems that affect pets. They are also especially prepared to care for pets that may be facing multiple health problems. Thanks to better health care, more and more pets are living longer lives. As a result, an increasing number of older pets, just like older people, are coping with multiple disease states that can be very difficult to manage. For example, a cat with diabetes may also be suffering from kidney failure, or a dog in heart failure may also be diagnosed with cancer. Internal medicine specialists are uniquely prepared to oversee the care of these complicated cases. In other situations, a younger animal may develop a problem that used to be considered untreatable but is now manageable and perhaps even curable.
Here are some common diseases that frequently lead general practitioner veterinarians and concerned pet owners to seek the expertise of a specialist:
- Heart Disease
- Gastrointestinal Diseases
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Immune Related Disorders
- Kidney Dysfunction
Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?
In many cases, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care, especially if your pet is coping with multiple disease states or conditions. In other cases, your referral doctor will take over the majority of your pet's medical care. It depends on your pet's particular disease and health problem.
Did You Know?
There are approximately 1400 board certified veterinary internal medicine specialists in the United States, and the number is growing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What Do I Bring to my Referral Appointment?
Be sure to bring any relevant medical records or information to your first appointment. Ask your veterinarian for copies of any relevant medical tests, imaging studies, x-rays, or laboratory panels.
Remember, you also can do your part to maximize your pet's recovery by keeping your pet's traveling medical records organized and by strictly adhering to the recommendations of your veterinary team for the scheduling of follow up appointments, etc. At every appointment, be sure to write down any important recommendations, or ask the veterinarian or a staff member to write them down for you.
- What are your hours of operation?
8 AM to 8 PM Monday -Thursday
8 AM to 6 PM Friday
8 AM to 4 PM Saturday
Doctors are on Premises 24/7, 365 days each year so your pet's emergency needs will be taken care of any time night or day. No appointments are needed for emergency care.
Appointments can be made with any of our specialty services by calling 708-749-4200.
- What is your payment policy?
Payment is required when services are rendered. We accept payments by cash, check, as well as all major credit cards.
We also offer CareCredit, which offers intrest free payment plans. If approved, you can use that for payment right away and be billed monthly. You can apply here at the hospital, or online at http://www.carecredit.com/vetmed/
Services Offered in Internal Medicine
- Multimodal analgesia
- Diagnosis and management of inappropriate urination/defecation
- Electrocardiography (ECG)
- Blood chemistry analyzer
- Coagulation analyzer
- Hematology analyzer
- In-house STAT laboratory
- Viral testing
- Autoimmune skin disease management
- Diagnosis and management of ear diseases
- Abdominal ultrasonography-abdominocentesis and cystocentesis
- Thoracic ultrasonography / thoracocentesis
- Digital radiography
- Doppler ultrasound studies
- Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration
- Transfusion therapy
- Continuous ECG monitoring and telemetry
- Pulse oximetry and end tidal capnography
- Cardiac output monitoring
- Direct blood pressure monitoring
- Central venous pressure monitoring
- Nasal and transtracheal oxygen therapy
- Aggressive analgesia
- Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)
- Endo or trans-tracheal washing
- Supplemental feeding tube placement & management
- Diagnosis and medical management of liver shunts
- Endoscopy foreign body removal (esophageal, airway, gastric)
- Radiologically inserted gastrostomy tube placement
- Drain insertions
- Nasojejunal tube placement
- Seizure diagnosis and management
- Non-surgical spinal cord disease diagnosis and management
- Neuromuscular disease diagnosis and management
- Cerebrospinal fluid collection and analysis
- Partial and complete parenteral nutrition
- Dietary counseling
- Bone Marrow Aspirate
- Advanced anesthetic monitoring
- Tissue biopsies
- Neonatal critical care